YES! Arsenal in transfer swoop for TOP Argentine defender

I do like the Arsenal defensive pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. Even though the German has a distinct fault in his speed along the ground and in making quick turns, he does have an excellent reading of the game, very good aerial ability and is very good in the timing of his tackles.

Koscielny, meanwhile, has blossomed into one of the best centre backs around, but he does have that recurring problem with the tendons in his ankle, so a lot of Arsenal fans were hoping that Arsene Wenger had another quality defender on his shopping list for the summer transfer window.

And if this report in The Telegraph is right, and they are usually one of the more reliable sources in the media, then Wenger is planning a transfer and the player in question, Ezequiel Garay, would be a real boost to the Arsenal squad.

Garay is at the Copa America with Argentina right now but is said to be ready to leave Russia and his club Zenit St. Petersburg this summer. The 28-year old has been linked with Arsenal before, but could he finally be set to come to the Premier League in a deal reported to be worth around £13 million?

Arsenal shock as Arshavin backs them for title

Andrey Arshavin was once hailed as being the star player that could possibly bring success back to Arsenal and to the Emirates for the first time. But despite a fruitful start in which we saw his excellent Euro 2008 performances transpire over to English football with the Gunners, his time at the club came to a much quicker end than may have first been perceived.

Arshavin joined Arsenal back on January transfer deadline day of 2009 and in fact he didn’t actually official sign for the club until a few days later because of terrible weather conditions. His transfer however seemed like it was one that was well worth staying up for long into the night and we arguably weren’t wrong because in his first and second seasons with Arsenal he worked wonders, becoming a key player alongside the likes of Fabregas and Nasri.

However as he approached the judgmental 30 years old stage, Arshavin seemed to lose something and inevitably our then record signing was quickly dropped from the team, to the extent where he was loaned back to former club Zenit before finally being released on a free transfer this summer.

Arshavin has always been quick to criticise Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger since his departure from the club and he blames Arsenal for the decline in his career. But I think if he was only ever good enough to play in Russia, that shows that he really wasn’t as a good as a player that many made him out to be. Don’t get me wrong, Arshavin was fantastic when he first joined but after a few years he lost his pace, his stamina and ultimately his interest in playing football.

But then just as the little Russian had done upon his record move to Arsenal, new club record signing Mesut Ozil has worked wonders and Arshavin reckons it’s the German star who has given the Gunners the capabilities to seriously challenge for silverware this season.

Arshavin said: “Arsenal are playing much better than they have over the last two or three years. I was surprised that they won so comfortably against Liverpool, because they too are in excellent form right now. The signing of Ozil has brought stability to the side and now this season Arsenal have a real chance to finish in first place.”

I think Ozil has definitely made this club more capable of winning a trophy this year; however it isn’t all down to the German, because in fact we are in the position we are because we have played together as a strong unit and a communicative team. The new look Arsenal team shows quality, experience and depth, so although Arshavin may have badmouthed Arsenal in the past, if we go onto win something this season, maybe he will not only regret his words, but his actions as well.

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The Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin secured a last minute deal to move back to his old club Zenit on loan until the end of the (English) season, just a few hours after Arsene Wenger said that the Russia captain would not be leaving the Emirates.

Zenit drove a hard bargain when he originally moved to Arsenal and Arshavin acknowledged that it is something he is getting used to. “Friday was a difficult day,” he said. “Everything was decided at the last minute. I guess my transfers cannot be resolved any quicker!”

But now that an agreement has been reached between the two clubs, Arshavin has promised the Zenit fans that he will do his utmost to bring the Russian title to back to the club where he made his name.

He said: “I want to play and I want to make Zenit champions this year. I will do everything in my power to lead the team to the title.”

Most Arsenal fans would be amazed if Arshavin suddenly regained his former glory after two years of mediocrity. But if he does, then questions will be asked about how he was managed in the time he was at Arsenal.

Arshavin had to go – but Arsenal will miss him…..

Yesterday the news broke that the enigmatic Andrei Arshavin has left on loan to his former club Zenit St Petersburg for the remainder of the season. My question is this: what do Arsenal fans think of this move?

Personally, I think that the move is a negative one for Arsenal Football Club. While I realise that the Russian trickster has had several poor performances of late, I still think that he has flair and a creative edge which can tip a game in our favour. He is a gamble, as often he doesn’t perform, but there is no doubt that he can be a real game changer. This is the logic that led Wenger to bring him on against United. Furthermore, we have now lost one more quality player from our bench, making it look even thinner than before.

All of this said, I can see the reasons why we let him go out. The first is that he is obviously trapped in the vicious ‘form cycle’. By this I mean that he has hit poor form and so doesn’t get played often, leading to him not getting the regular game time needed to pull himself back into form. I reckon that the game time that he will get at Zenit might just send him back to us a renewed player, though his contract is up for renewal so we might actually decide to sell him to Zenit permanently.

Whatever your opinion, it must be realised that this was not Wenger’s decision. Wenger publicly came out and said that he didn’t want to sell Arshavin; I believe that the move was pushed through by the player himself to keep him in contention for the Euros in the summer. I fully understand his motives and wish him luck with his loan spell.

P.S: I would like to address the reason why Wenger plays Arshavin out of position (on the wing) as opposed to in the centre. The reason is his work rate. It is famously poor and it would have an even larger effect in the centre of the park, where work rate is essential. The centre midfielders are the engine room of the team, and this needs to be kept running to have any semblance of a decent team. I hope this clears things up.

Arsenal agree loan deal for Arshavin

It has just been reported by SkySports that Arsenal and Zenit have agreed a loan deal to take the little Russian Andrei Arshavin back to his homeland for the rest of the season.

Earlier in the day it was reported that the negotiations were “suspended” but it now seems that a deal has been agreed. The Sky report said: Sky Sports sources understand Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg have agreed a loan deal for Andrey Arshavin.

The 30-year-old Russia international has struggled for form this season, leading to speculation his days at the North London club could be numbered.

No transfer emerged during the January window but, with Gervinho back from Africa Cup of Nations duty and the Russian transfer window still open until Friday, a deal has now been agreed.

The move will see Arshavin return to his homeland and the club from which he joined Arsenal in January 2009.

It would seem that Arshavin was only playing in the reserve match against Norwich on Tuesday so that the Zenit coaches could check his form, and after scoring twice it must have convinced them he was still capable of good form.

I guess this means that he won’t be playing against Tottenham tomorrow then…..

Agent – Arshavin is STILL not leaving Arsenal!

After his annus horriblis at Arsenal in 2011, it seemed very likely that Andrei Arshavin would be moving on in January in search of regular first-team action ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament.

His agent, Phil Smith, revealed a couple of weeks ago that the Russian billionaire at Anzhi Makhachkala had made a tentative approach for Arshavin but his client wasn’t interested.

Lately the rumours have been surrounding a return to Arshavin’s old club Zenit St Petersburg, but Smith has felt the need to yet again deny that Arshavin is going anywhere at all. Smith said: “Officially there wasn’t an approach and Arshavin doesn’t have an offer either,”

“The club have said they want to keep Arshavin and the player has said he wanted to stay.

“So I think it’s not a topic. It’s true the Russian transfer window is still open, but it’s closed in Europe.

“It’s not usual for the club to sell their players at this time.”

So thats it then! No chance of a loan I suppose…….

Arshavin set to rejoin Zenit in £8m deal rather than Lazio

Yesterday it was widely reported that the Serie A club Lazio were keen on making a move for Arsenal’s out-of-favour midfielder Andrei Arshavin, but according to a report this morning it is already decided that he will be moving back to the Russian League with Zenit St. Petersburg.

Recently Arsenal gave Arshavin a pay rise to compensate for his losses from the new tax codes, but made no attempt to extend his contract and are quite happy for him to move on at the end of the season.

Arshavin himself has announced that he would turn down any big money offer from FC Anzhi and would only play for Zenit in Russia after spending eight happy years there before moving to the Emirates.

Arshavin’s reputation in England has taken a nosedive in the last year, but he is still Russia’s captain and is still revered in his hoomeland where he was recently named the Athlete-of-the-Year for the fourth time in succession, and Zenit are hoping that he will recapture his former glory back on familiar ground.

The Star reports that the midfielder has already told his friends that he will be moving back to his homeland this summer ans it seems an £8m deal has already been agreed with Arsenal, which is a 50% return on the £15m that Wenger paid for him in 2009.

Wenger – Arshavin Is Staying In January

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger seems unwilling to let Russian forward Andrey Arshavin go in January even though the winger grew frustrated by the lack of chances he got with the Gunners since the summer when Gervinho was brought in.

According to Wenger his plans with the former Zenit player are not yet over and he needs him to be there for the second part of the season, so a possible transfer away from the club is unlikely.

“I am losing players like ­Marouane Chamakh and ­Gervinho to the African Cup of Nations, but I have players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju Young Park and Andrey ­Arshavin to come in.”, said Wenger

This is coming after the press went crazy linking Arshavin with a possible return to his “home” club Zenit in January. The striker proved himself annoyed by the lack of chances on several occasions, and in the last game against Everton he was part of a misfortunate incident which irritated him.

Arshavin got ready to get onto the pitch but Van Persie’s goal changed plans for Wenger who chose to send Frimpong, Miquel and Rosicky instead, so the Russian had to get his jacket back on and watch the rest of the match from the bench. This comes as a blow for a forward with Arshavin’s skill, but Wenger’s plan with him is still very much unclear.